Let’s face it: the online training market is buzzing with lots of organizations competing to get their content out there to the world. They want it to be fast, and the best. This is on top of the fact that target audiences are already saturated in digital content 24/7, on all of their devices.
So, how can you get your online training to stand out from your competitors’? How can you get learners and the organizations they work for not only interested, but coming back for more?
Here’s our quick guide to help you get the edge, starting with some considerations about how you choose a tool.
Opt for powerful, collaborative tools that enable you to:
1. Data mine for market insights
Data that tells you who’s using your content, how and where, is gold dust for future marketing and sales initiatives. It also enables you to design each piece of content better than the last. Look for authoring tools with built-in data dashboards to give you these rich insights, and to help you argue the case for digital content with customers. To stay on top, also look for tools that support seeking feedback from learners via surveys and comments.
2. Take your content to every device
Mobile learning isn’t a new concept – it’s actually a given. 70% of people learn for work on mobile devices, mostly at a point of need or while away from their desk. Yet, in the corporate training market, only 12% of content is mobile enabled. Get ahead of competitors by taking your content to mobile devices. Go for tools with automatic, responsive layouts that snap to size, so you don’t have to double up design efforts.
3. Work smartly, and at speed
Efficiency is key when it comes to getting your training products out to market, as are production costs. So choosing authoring technologies that are simple to use, with a solid set of templates and interactions to cover all bases, makes sense. But also look for collaborative, cloud-based tools that empower team members and contractors to work smartly and jump in to create, edit or review content at any time, from anywhere and at the same time. If legislation or needs change, anyone can take action – fast – and republish without disruption.
4. Just do it once
Smart businesses create a product, then make it work hard for them. Look for tools that enable you to create a single product, then spin off variations without starting again –whether it’s translated versions, an alternative look and feel to fit with customer brands or shorter versions of a product. Opt for smart tools that give you control over master versions.
And what about the content approach itself? We all know that technologies are just one part of the picture – it’s what you do with them that counts.
Our infographic of modern learners pinpoints three crucial factors in what drives people to use online learning content: it’s genuinely useful, it’s relevant to their problem and it’s high quality. Alongside a sharp focus on the performance outcomes you need to bring about, considering these will up your chances of delivering content that works.
Then make sure your content:
5. Is genuinely useful
Ditch the content dump and focus on what’s going to help employees fix a problem and/or grow their skills. Don’t assume you own the learning experience; instead, give tools to help employees improve their performance. Consider one-page job-aids, visual guides, demo-videos and simple expert tips – in other words, the kind of content that helps get people out of a hole, fast. Then offer up deeper dives.
6. Is relevant to them
Don’t do the sheep dip approach, where everyone gets the same content – unless you are 100% sure it’s all relevant. Use modern authoring tools to provide smart content that adapts to what learners’ needs are and how they interact with challenges along the way. That way, learning time is shorter (a win for them and their organization), and it’s tuned in on the performance actions individuals need to take.
7. Provides an engaging experience
Usefulness and relevance are high on the list, but so is quality. According to research, your content has just 7 seconds to grab learners’ attention. Engaging users involves using motivation techniques, branding, tone – but also the learning experience you give learners. If it’s not a job-aid, but a learning resource aimed at growing skills, make sure it provides challenge, stretch, social-learning and even competition.
The key to getting ahead in the training market is to start with research and get clear on the goals, using all that data you’ve collated. You can also try things out. With modern authoring tools, there’s nothing stopping you from taking an iterative approach and testing out digital content approaches with real users. They can even make comments directly into your content if you set them up as reviewers.